J.K. Simmons, who is wrapping a seven-season run on TNT’s hit drama series The Closer, is making a switch to comedy with a co-starring role opposite Kyle Bornheimer in ABC/ABC Studios’ half-hour pilot White Van Man.
The comedy features a blue collar ensemble that centers on a man (Bornheimer) who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father (Simmons). The series will be based on a British show by the same name and will utilize a single camera format.
The series takes its name from the United Kingdom’s phrase that describes the stereotype for light colored vans and trucks, which are most often utilized by self-employed/small businesses that render handyman or repair services. White Man Van is set to be written by Raising Hope writer Bobby Bowman, who will also executive produce with Mark Gordon. The series will also be directed by Michael Fresco.
On The Closer, Simmons, has played Deputy Chief Branda Johnson’s (Kyra Sedgwick) boss, Assistant Chief Will Pope, since the pilot. Simmons decided not to continue with this character in the upcoming Closer spinoff Major Crimes.
Available for pilot season for the first time in 8 years, Simmons was offered multiple pilots. He had his eye set on doing a comedy and ultimately chose White Van Man .